Life has its ups and downs for everyone, but not everyone has to experience their downs in the public eye. For Queen Elizabeth II, thinking back over her year as she does when she addresses the public each Christmas is a reflection of not just her life, but the monarchy as a whole.
Having been on the throne for over 60 years, she’s had her fair share of good and bad years, but none compare to 1992. And now, this year may top that awful year to become the worst year yet for the Queen.
1992 was called annus horribilis
In an address given on the 40th anniversary of her succession, the Queen admitted that “1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure.” While nothing that happened reflected on her, things did happen to affect the monarchy and cause her to be fatigued and worn down by all the events surrounding her. It was a year that would test the moral fiber of the royal family and cause their popularity to decrease. From failed marriages to scandals that made headlines, the troubles wouldn’t end without a massive fire that crippled Windsor Castle.
In 1992, three royal marriages would end: Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially separated, with a tell-all book giving intimate details of Diana’s life and what it was really like inside the palace; Princess Anne would get divorced from a cheating Captain Mark Philips and get remarried in the same year; Prince Andrew’s estranged wife Sarah Ferguson was caught with her financial advisor topless and getting her toes sucked. The image of the royal family was tarnished, and the Queen could not help it recover without time.
2019 may be far worse for the royal family
While 1992 seems like one of the worst years for Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family as a whole, it wasn’t the only year that would be remembered for not-so-great things. More bad things happened in 2019 than in 1992, and they occurred in an age of social media and modern living where hiding behind closed doors is no longer an option. The Queen was definitely feeling the heat.
In January, her husband, Prince Philip, was involved in a car accident that would end with him turning in his driver’s license and driving privileges. He got off with a warning for not wearing a seat belt, and he was fortunately uninjured. And while he did apologize to the women who were injured in the accident, his response to the whole ordeal was seen as arrogant, and it did not go over well with critics.
By far one of the worst stains on the year was when Prince Andrew’s connections to U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein came to light. While he has denied any link to criminal involvement or knowledge of Epstein’s wrongdoings, the public still wanted answers, and the accusations haven’t gone away. Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers, said that in 2015 she was forced to have sex with the Prince three times. Even the TV interview he did to try to overcome the scandal was seen as a disaster, and he was forced to step down from his royal duties.
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?Today at Windsor Castle: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined young leaders at a roundtable discussion on gender equality and inclusion. The Duke is President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and The Duchess is Vice-President. Impactful young leaders from around the world including South Africa, Iraq and Malawi led a discussion on how to drive meaningful change and empower women. The roundtable was organised by @queens_commonwealth_trust and @oneyoungworld, both charities support and connect young leaders to bring about change. The Duchess of Sussex is a longstanding supporter of One Young World, having first joined as a Counsellor at the 2014 summit in Dublin. Earlier this week The Duchess of Sussex attended the 10th Annual One Young World Opening Ceremony at The Royal Albert Hall, which brought together 2,000 young leaders from 190 countries.
Prince Harry and his brother Will parted ways in March, splitting their shared staff to go about their own business. There was thought to be a rift between them, possibly caused by the wives. While Harry did eventually confirm that a rift did happen, he didn’t blame it on the wives, instead saying that brothers will be brothers. This lead to Harry and Meghan taking a break at the end of the year to get out of the spotlight for a bit.
The break wasn’t a huge surprise, especially since Harry and Meghan had been dealing with criticism surrounding their lives. Because of this, the couple ended up taking legal action against several tabloids in October. Harry felt it was too close to the treatment that led to his mother’s death in 1997 – so much so that the couple went public with their feelings, something that royals typically never do.
2019 for Queen Elizabeth II
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Today, The Queen visited the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) village to celebrate the charity’s centenary year. The charity supports Armed Forces personnel and veterans, and their families, as well as people who have been long-term unemployed. During the visit in Kent Her Majesty opened the new Appleton Lodge care facility and visited the Centenary Village housing project. The lodge provides care for residents as well as local people in the area. She also met RBLI Village’s eldest resident, 99-year old WWII veteran John Riggs, and his family. Finally, The Queen visited the RBLI Centenary Village, to see the completed first phase of the development, which includes specially-adapted apartments for wounded former military personnel. And she buried a time capsule which included a personal message congratulating the charity on their Centenary. For more on today visit our website via the link in our bio! ? Press Association / Royal Communications
While the year was mostly tarnished by media scrutiny of their lives, the Queen came out pretty well. She did find herself mixed up in a political tangle over Britain’s exit for the EU, where she had her move to suspend parliament ruled unlawful by Britain’s Supreme Court. It ended up causing the monarchy to look weak and outdated and had people saying the institution was not necessary. But the Queen has proven that the monarchy is strong and can come out on top as it has done for over 1,000 years.
Moving forward is what anyone wants to do when they have a terrible year. Just move on into 2020 and not look back. Unfortunately, for the Queen and the royal family, their past lingers in the memory of the public and history.
Let’s hope that moving forward to better times is possible, especially since she may not have that much longer on the throne as the Queen of England. And while it may seem that she’s lost control of the royal family, the public is quick to defend her. Stay tuned to Cheat Sheet to see what 2020 holds for Queen Elizabeth II.
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